Customizing With The Salesforce Object Manager

You don’t want to work with unhappy Salesforce Users! Let me explain…Everything that Salesforce Users, like Sales Reps or Customer Service Teams, see right in front of them is what we call the user interface. Salesforce Users are very sensitive to changes to their daily tasks, in particular to the way they complete them through Salesforce’s user interface. This means you want to make it as easy as possible for them. And if you don’t, they won’t be happy.

Therefore, let’s find out how the Object Manager will become your secret weapon. It even has its own tab appearance in the Setup menu because you’ll be using it A LOT.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

You don’t want to work with unhappy Salesforce Users! Let me explain…Everything that Salesforce Users, like Sales Reps or Customer Service Teams, see right in front of them is what we call the user interface. Salesforce Users are very sensitive to changes to their daily tasks, in particular to the way they complete them through Salesforce’s user interface. This means you want to make it as easy as possible for them. And if you don’t, they won’t be happy.

Therefore, let’s find out how the Object Manager will become your secret weapon. It even has its own tab appearance in the Setup menu because you’ll be using it A LOT.

No-Code Declarative Salesforce Development

The Object Manager is the place where Salesforce System Administrators spend a lot of time tweaking the user interface. The Object Manager is part of the so-called no-code declarative toolset. Throughout our Salesforce Certification Courses, you will learn all about the essential declarative development tools every Salesforce Administrator should be familiar with.

The Power of the Object Manager Page

Let’s explore the Object Manager to give you a flavor of how easy and effective declarative development can be. The Object Manager is your go-to page in order to manage the appearance of any of the Salesforce Objects, such as Standard and Custom Objects, including External Objects.

Here’s an example of the Standard Account Object. From the Object Manager’s Page like this one you can:

  • Edit Standard Fields & add new Custom Fields for a large range of data types
  • Tweak existing Page Layouts & create new Page Layouts
  • Create Record Types and assign the various Page Layouts to manage different business processes
  • Manage access to quick Buttons, Links and Actions
  • Set up Lightning Record Pages as an extension to Page Layouts and Record Types
  • Design Compact Layouts to provide quick record summaries
  • Set up sophisticated Lookup Filters and Search Layouts
  • Add automation with Rules and Triggers

Purpose of Business Specific Customization

Let’s look at an example of what declarative development with the Object Manager can look like:

We’ll use the Contact Standard Object. It’s there to capture data like an individual’s name, email address, mobile number and so on. These are all part of the Standard Fields provided by Salesforce out-of-the-box (OOTB). However, what if you want to save additional information like hobbies or preferred method of contact. This type of information is not provided OOTB. Therefore, you need to create a new Custom Field in order to capture these business-specific details.

And why would you care? Details like these can help get to know customers better, and build stronger relationships to turn into more successful sales opportunities.

Now it’s time to get hands-on. Because that’s what matters most. Therefore, let’s customize the user interface of the Contact’s Object together. Just open your Trailhead Playground or Developer Org and follow-along:

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT:

  1. In the Setup, select the Object Manager
  2. Go to the Contacts object
  3. Let’s look into Fields & Relationships to start with – we’ll go through most of the other menu items throughout module 4
  4. Here you will find a list of all the standard and custom fields that are already available – some of these fields will be visible to the user through the record pages, others may be hidden and stored for history tracking or data analysis purposes
  5. In order to add a new field to capture business specific data, we’ll go to the top right and click New
  6. We’ll now select the Data Type to specify what type of information we want to capture. Let’s go with the example of capturing the Hobby. We’ll create a Text Field, so let’s select Text Area which gives you 255 characters and Click Next
  7. We’ll label it “Hobby” and leave everything else as is, click Next
  8. The field-level-security will specify which user require access to this field. You will learn a lot more about this in section 4, click Next
  9. We’ll add to the page layout so the users can see it right away
  10. Click Save
  11. Let’s go to a Contact to check whether the field now displays
  12. Go the Sales App, select the Contacts tab and the All Contacts list view
  13. Let’s find Sean Forbes, open and select the Details tab
  14. And there you go, you can now start adding Hobby details

What Else Should You Know About the Object Manager

Through the Object Manager, you can create an entirely new Custom Object manually or you can upload Custom Object details from an Excel spreadsheet. And since most Salesforce Objects are related to one another, you can use the Schema Builder to see how these Objects have been linked.

Tip: Don’t forget to give Salesforce Users access to Custom Objects through a Custom Tab or a Related List. A Custom Tab is created through the Custom Tab Wizard. Related Lists are managed through Page Layout settings or Lightning Record Page design.

Here’s where to find the Tab Wizard:

One more element I’d like to point out is tracking changes in Salesforce. This is a very important aspect of improving data integrity as well as user adoption. However, this does not happen automatically. While the tools to track changes are available, you still have to either turn them on or set them up. One of these tools is used to track field history. You have to enable History Tracking for each Salesforce Object.

As you can see the Object Manager and corresponding features are very powerful. How well you make use of all their capabilities will determine the ease-of-use of the user interface. And the easier it is, the happier Salesforce Users will be. Because…it’s all about user adoption. And user adoption plays a huge role in business success.

What type of customization through the Object Manager would you like to learn more about? Leave me a comment below.

WHAT ELSE…

This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Build a Salesforce Custom App for your next Salesforce Job Interview

Being new in the Salesforce job market can make you feel tiny in this vast Salesforce ecosystem. Many job ads seem to be looking for applicants with 2-3 or more years Salesforce experience. And you may not have any of that at all and you may feel like you will never find that Salesforce dream job. In this article we discuss how you can still stand out from the crowd and showcase your Salesforce talent… in your unique way!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Showcase Your Salesforce Experience – Even if you don’t have any

Being new in the Salesforce job market can make you feel tiny in this vast Salesforce ecosystem. When you see a job posting, in most cases they seem to be looking for applicants with 2-3 or more years of Salesforce experience. And you may not have any of that at all and you may feel like you will never get a job in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Now, keep in mind that all those experienced Salesforce Admins or Salesforce Consultants have started just like you. Hence, they must be coming from somewhere. And with the Salesforce job market growing constantly, the Salesforce ecosystem is in need of building out more Salesforce professionals, just like YOU.

However, this also means there are a lot of newcomers competing with you. How can you still stand out from the crowd and showcase your Salesforce talent?

Prove your Salesforce Talent in your next Salesforce Job Interview

It’s about the big picture. It’s about understanding the Salesforce platform, how it can improve business processes and how you can contribute with your skills to your future employer’s success. Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for a well-rounded skill profile. They are not just looking for your Salesforce Admin Certification or other certifications. They want to see how you can apply your technical knowledge in combination with your soft skills. There are three key aspects employers are looking for:

Creative Thinking

This means, thinking outside the box. Can you identify what a business needs and what a potential solution may be? This can include setting up Custom Apps and Custom Objects to manage business-specific processes with all corresponding details in one place.

Problem Solving

What do you do when you don’t seem to find a declarative solution? This is a common scenario. Do you have to take it to the next level with more complex automations or should you look for a solution on the AppExchange?

Forward Thinking

This means helping a business look into the future. How can they get business insights and identify potential improvements for future business success and growth, for example with Reports and Dashboards. Maybe consider the integration of Salesforce external data with tools like Tableau.

This doesn’t mean you have to know the apps on the AppExchange or tools like Tableau inside out. That’s impossible. However, having an understanding of the potential capabilities will go a long way. So just step outside your Trailhead zone and take a browse through Salesforce’s product range as well as the AppExchange. Maybe get a free trial for Tableau (or other Salesforce products) or watch some demo videos.

Just like Albert Einstein used to say:

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Albert Einstein

This means you don’t need to know everything but you need to know when and where to look for answers.

The next question is how you can build up these qualities to prepare for your job interview meaning for your Salesforce dream job.

Build Your Own Salesforce Experience

Even if you don’t have on-the-job experience with Salesforce, you can start building your very own technical experience and soft skills. It all starts with your hands-on practice, a.k.a. experience on Trailhead ▶️ (Video Guide included). And then … taking all that Salesforce knowledge and converting it into a tailored build completely done by yourself. 

Does this feel unachievable? No need to pull your hair out! Let’s take it step by step:

Gaining Salesforce Hands-on Experience starts by Learning Salesforce

As mentioned earlier, your Salesforce learning and experience journey starts with Trailhead. Get a Trailhead Account and start learning.

A good starting point is the Salesforce Administrator Certification Trailmix, even if you’re not sure yet whether or not you want to get certified. It covers all fundamental knowledge and hands-on practice every Salesforce professional needs to have, even those that choose not to get certified.

What I’ve done with the official Trailmix though, I’ve tweaked it a little to add a bit more logic and additional learning units, that I know will serve you better grasp the contents. This will give a more comprehensive learning experience:

WeLearnSalesforce: Salesforce Administrator Credential (NOTE: You must be logged in to your Trailhead Account.)

Other WeLearnSalesforce Trailmixes:

If self-guided learning feels to overwhelming, how about taking a Salesforce Course. Have a look at our guided video tutorials and study workbooks to complement your learning success.

Once you’ve got your fundamentals covered, you are ready to take it to the next level. This means, start completing more advanced Trailhead Modules and Projects. This will not only help you prepare better for your Salesforce Certification Exam but it will help you deepen your expertise.

Here are some recommended Trailhead Modules and Projects:

Build a Battle Station App

Build a Data Model for a Recruiting App

You can also choose to complete one or more Superbadges. They are provided by Trailhead to give you real-life business use cases of the type of challenges you’ll be confronted with in a real Salesforce Admin job role or similar.

Here’s a great example:

Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards Specialist Superbadge

While Superbadges won’t take forever they still do require some time and patience to be completed. You may as well skip them for now (but not forever) and see how far you get with what you’ve already learned. Why not give it a go and build your very own business use case.

🌶 Because…eventually, this part is what will set you apart from the competition.

Build your own Salesforce Custom App based on your own Real World Experience

And this is where you can truly prove that you can think outside the box and come up with customized solutions. Now how does this work?

By building your very own app in Salesforce. You are essentially replicating a real-life business process in Salesforce. Simply look around you. What types of shops are in your area? Are you a member of a sports club? Think about how these shops or clubs would manage their day-to-day to-dos. Think about how they would manage their customer details, their memberships, their sales, donations, equipment, and so on? 

Take one example and write out the details and then create it in Salesforce. You can use a Trailhead Playground ▶️ (How-to Video), or better, your own Developer Org ▶️ (How-to Video).

🌶 KNOW THIS: It doesn’t have to be perfect, a potential employer just wants to see how you can approach solving a business problem.

Let me give you a couple of examples you can use to create a Custom App on your own:

Salesforce Custom App Example 1 – Manage your job applications:

  • Track best job portals (a.k.a. Custom Object)
  • Identify suitable positions and corresponding job applications (a.k.a. Custom Objects)
  • Use a dedicated workspace for job applications (a.k.a. Custom App)
  • Store Recruiter contact details (a.k.a. Account and Contact Standard Objects)
  • Manage different types of jobs you may be interested in such as Volunteer, Full-Time, Part-Time etc. (a.k.a. Record Types, Page Layouts)
  • Track your application progress (a.k.a. Paths Settings)
  • Set up automated follow-up reminders (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
  • Monitor time and effort (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)

Salesforce Custom App Example 2 – Manage your running club:

  • Set up club departments, sponsors (a.k.a. Account Types = Record Types)
  • Set up club members (a.k.a. Contacts)
  • Manage equipment (a.k.a. Custom Object)
  • Track donations (a.k.a. Opportunities)
  • Use dedicated workspaces for club internal details versus sponsorship details (a.k.a. Custom Apps)
  • Set up automated sponsorship renewals (a.k.a. Flow Builder)
  • Monitor sponsorships and donations over time (a.k.a. Reports and Dashboards)

🌶 Struggling to find ideas? Then check out the Salesforce Customer Success Stories. They range from small businesses to larger organizations that have decided to solve their business issues with Salesforce. You can read about the types of challenges and which Salesforce products they chose to overcome these challenges:

Customer Success Stories

Source: https://www.salesforce.com/customer-success-stories/#!page=1
 

Once you’ve created your personal business use case, a.k.a Salesforce Experience, it’s time to tell the world about it!

Share Your Salesforce Experience

Don’t be shy to share your work with Recruiters and Hiring Managers, even if it’s not the typical on-the-job type of experience. It still shows that you’ve developed your Salesforce skills plus soft skills to match the criteria employers are looking for.

Therefore, add your Salesforce experience to your resume. And even better, add it to your LinkedIn profile, because that’s a common place where Recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking for talent. And you want to make sure you can be found.

And don’t forget to add your Salesforce Certification as well as your Trailblazer.ID.

Closing Remarks

Gaining Salesforce experience has different faces. They include practicing hands-on with Trailhead, completing Superbadges or building your own Salesforce App. Other ways to gain experience is through volunteer opportunities and of course real-life Salesforce jobs. As I always like to say: Take it step-by-step, and you will get there!

Let me know in the comments if you managed to create your very own Salesforce app. What did you set up? I’d love to hear about it. 👏🏻

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

How Do I Navigate in Salesforce Lightning?

While the Salesforce user interface is very intuitive, there are a few not-so-obvious navigation features you do want to be familiar with. Salesforce contains a lot of data in a lot of different places, a.k.a. Salesforce records. Therefore, the more effective you can navigate through the system, the faster you will find the information you are looking for or you want to update. Imagine the smile on your co-workers face when you can show them at least one trick you learned about in this video tutorial. Sounds good? Let’s go then.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

While the Salesforce user interface is very intuitive, there are a few not-so-obvious navigation features you do want to be familiar with. Salesforce contains a lot of data in a lot of different places, a.k.a. Salesforce records. Therefore, the more effective you can navigate through the system, the faster you will find the information you are looking for or you want to update. Imagine the smile on your co-workers face when you can show them at least one trick you learned about in this video tutorial. Sounds good? Let’s go then.

The Difference Between Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience

Did you know that Salesforce has two different user interfaces? An old one and a new one. The old one is called Salesforce Classic and the new one is called Lightning Experience, though it’s not so new anymore. End of 2016 Salesforce had been making significant changes to the way you work to be even more efficient and productive. That’s why they introduced the new modern user interface that is much more dynamic and interactive.

Why do we even need to talk about this when the new interface has been around for so long? Isn’t everyone using Lightning Experience? Yes and No.

Yes, in most cases, you will find and use the Lightning Experience user interface. This includes your Trailhead Playgrounds, Developer Orgs, Production Orgs, and others. And No, in real life, there are still some organizations using Salesforce Classic. Moving from an existing Salesforce Classic Org to Lightning Experience can require more extensive configurations which can take longer to undergo for some.

This means you will need to be familiar with both user interfaces. The good news is that many features you will be learning about work very similarly in both interfaces. However, there are a few differences you should be aware of.

Below is an example of the Accounts and Contacts Pages. You’ll notice quickly that the Lightning Experience user interface can do a lot more. Therefore, make sure to review the full comparison list too!

Source: help.salesforce.com

Due to these differences, it is sometimes necessary to switch between the two user interfaces. There is a so-called switcher which is easy to access. In Lightning, you’ll access the switcher from your profile menu, and in Classic, you’ll find it at the top of your screen.

Navigate Lightning Experience With Ease

Since Lightning Experience is the one everyone should be using, you will learn the most essential navigation paths and best practices around this user interface. And whenever there is a need to switch to Classic, I will tell you so. 🤓

In this preview video tutorial, we will dive right into the tabs along the navigation bar. You can follow along in your own Trailhead Playground, so you can practice your hands-on skills already.

VIDEO TUTORIAL WALK-THROUGH SCRIPT

  1. Now let’s have a look at one of the tabs. Let’s start with the Accounts tab.
  2. By default you will be taken to the Recently Viewed Accounts which may however be empty if you haven’t used it before. 
  3. When you click the little drop down arrow to the right of the heading, you will find more options to view your list of records. This is what we call List Views. You can choose from All Accounts or My Accounts or other filter options. Some of them are provided to you out-of-the-box, and others can be added as needed, such as this one Platinum and Gold SLA Customers which is a custom list view.
  4. Let’s select All Accounts for now. Notice the pin icon to the right? You can pin the selected list view instead of the Recently Viewed one.
  5. The list view can be sorted by clicking on the column heading. For example clicking on the Account Name column heading. You’ll notice a tiny arrow which indicates how the list is sorted and in which direction. You can click the arrow to switch the direction, like so.
  6. Now let’s select one of the Accounts, for example Edge Communications. This will take you to the full Account record. This record contains a number of information which are broken down into tabs. At the top, you’ll find a Highlights Panel to view key details about this Account. 
  7. Underneath you will have a Details tab which contains the key details plus other important information about the Account.
  8. You will also have an Activities tab where you will see to dos that are coming up as Next Steps or Activities from the past. 
  9. Under the Chatter tab you will see updates and questions related to this Account. 
  10. And under the Related tab you will find the related Contacts, Opportunities, Cases and more. 
  11. Remember the relationships between objects we talked about in the previous unit. This is what they look like.
  12. To view the details of one of these related records, for example Sean Forbes, you have two options: You can either click on the hyperlink which will overwrite your current page, or use the right mouse click to open the record in a new window. 
  13. Either way will take you to Sean’s contact record where you can see all his details. You notice the way the page is set up is quite similar to the Account page we have just gone through. Now, to view the Account details from Sean’s record, you can either switch windows depending on how you opened it or use the Account Name hyperlink to look up the page. 
  14. And this is how the Related lists and Lookups work that we discussed in the previous unit.
  15. Let’s jump to the Opportunities tab. From the dropdown at the top let’s select All Opportunities.
  16. The list views you have seen so far, look like a table. However you can change the view. Go to the top right corner and click on this little table icon and select Kanban
  17. This is now giving you a really nice summary type of view which is great to monitor and manage multiple opportunities from one page.  You can drag and drop, you can view subtotals and you make changes
  18. The Kanban view is available for other tabs as well. For now, let’s change the view back to Table.
  19. At the very top of your screen you will find the Global Search bar. It works quite like a Google search. Simply type in a name or phone number or other search term of a record you are looking for. 
  20. Once you click into the search you may see recent records. If nothing comes up or they don’t contain what you are looking for, start typing your search term, for example “Sean“. You may see suggestions coming up. If they don’t show what you are looking for, run a full search and click on the magnifying glass
  21. You will see a page with all search results containing this keyword
  22. You can use the dropdown arrow to the left of the global search bar or the menu items on the left to filter your search results for specific record types, for example Contacts
  23. When you do this, you can add even more filter options
  24. And to go back to the full search results, you can click Expand List .
  25. In case you can’t remember the spelling when you search, you can use the asterisk as a wildcard. However, you need at least two characters. 
  26. For example you want to look for John but you’re not sure if it’s John or Johnathan or Jonny. You can type in “jo” and then add the asterisk and then run the full search.

This is how you navigate through the front end user interface and find the records you or your co-workers are working on.

What trick did you learn in this video tutorial that you can’t wait to show your colleague or friend? Let me know in the comments.

WHAT ELSE…

The full video is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, I’d recommend to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Meet the #1 Customer Relationship Management Cloud Application, Salesforce!

Salesforce is used by thousands of customers across many countries and growing massively. For good reason. It brings customers and their partners together to manage their daily business challenges in the smartest way possible. It’s called Customer Relationship Management, in short CRM. In this article, we look at the basic elements of the Salesforce CRM Platform and how it brings business data to life.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce is used by thousands of customers across many countries and growing massively. For good reason. It brings customers and their partners together to manage their daily business challenges in the smartest way possible. It’s called Customer Relationship Management, in short CRM. In this article, we look at the basic elements of the Salesforce CRM Platform and how it brings business data to life.

Welcome to The World of Salesforce

Let’s get you started with understanding the basic elements of the Salesforce Platform and how it will be beneficial for managing day-to-day business processes.

Salesforce is a cloud-based application. This means, that all the data is stored in the cloud. Customers will be able to manage all their contacts and potential customers, organize and prioritize their daily customer activity, close the company’s sales and share key insights … in the most effective way. 

All of this happens from the one central location, through the cloud, in real-time, from any device that has an internet connection, from anywhere and at any time. The sky is the limit. No more Excel spreadsheets or post-it notes which are disconnected and can be hard to find. With Salesforce customers will save time and become much more organized, meaning a lot faster and more efficient. This makes customers happy and therefore increase sales.

Salesforce provides you with a constantly growing suite of products, referred to as “Clouds”. This range of products allows customers to manage all their different processes such as Sales or Marketing or Customer Service and many others. Have a look at their website for an overview of all their products so you don’t miss out.

In this article, we’ll focus on the Sales Cloud. This is Salesforce’s core product from which the rest of the platform has evolved. It’s the perfect place to start and understand the core principles and architecture of the platform. The Sales Cloud hosts a specific bundle of features and functionalities dedicated to managing sales-related data and business processes.

How Is Data Organized in Salesforce

Let’s look at how the data is set up and structured in a Salesforce Org. The data generated is organized in so-called Objects. Each Object contains a set of very specific type of data. Just like your kitchen: one drawer contains your cutlery, the next holds your dinner plates, the next one stores your placemats. When dinner time arrives, you open each and grab all the pieces that nicely fit together and make the dinner table look nice.

Salesforce pretty much does the same. One Object contains the data about the companies (= Account Object) an organization works with, another Object contains the data about the individuals (= Contact Object) from these companies they deal with, and so on.

An Object is like a table of data, like an Excel spreadsheet. Let’s take the Account Object as an example. It contains the details about the Accounts, such as the name of the company, the address, the annual revenue and a lot more. The rows represent the account record of each company and the columns represent the details of each of these.

The Concept of Standard Objects

To give you a head start, Salesforce provides several Standard Objects for customers to start saving important customer data right away.  Standard Objects contain a set of Standard Fields which you can customize or extend with Custom Fields, as required. Before we dive into customization though, let’s understand first what the Standard Objects are:

The Account Object contains general information about the organizations you work with, such as name, address or website. An Account can be a customer, a supplier, a partner or even a competitor. Any type of organization requires a different set of data stored in an Account Record. 

The Contact Object contains details about the individual person of an Account, such as their mobile number or email address. A Contact can however be a private individual instead. This is referred to as a Person Account which we’ll cover in another article.

The Opportunity Object is there to store information about the potential product or service a customer is interested in such as the amount or the name of the product.

The Lead Object contains information about potential customers. It’s similar to a Contact Record but not fully qualified yet. Once a Lead has been verified to turn into a likely sale, that’s when it is being converted. The conversion process divides the Lead information into three parts, an Account Record, a Contact Record, and an Opportunity Record.

I know this may be a little confusing. Just think about a Lead as a business card. Once you have caught up with the person you met or who has been referred to you, and you have determined the chances are good, you set them up as a customer, meaning a new Account Record with a corresponding Contact Record and a Sales Opportunity.

The Campaign Object manages your marketing activities to generate Leads or retain Contacts and stores information around dates, location, budget and more. 

The Case Object is typically used to captures enquiries from customers such as questions or issues with products or services. Cases can also be used to manage general enquiries or even internal change requests. You can connect Case Records to the other associated Objects they are related to, in this example to the corresponding Opportunity. This extends each record to provide additional customer information.

Finally, the User Object holds the details about the people (= Users) in your organization that have access to all that data in Salesforce. Through the User Object, you’ll not only manage their details but also the type and level of access each User will have. This includes read, edit, create or delete access. This is all part of the data security model we’ll have you covered with too.

Note: These are the most relevant Standard Objects you need to know about for now. You’ll notice that there are quite a few more. We’ll take it step-by-step and explore the other ones as we go.

Relationships to Other Objects

Salesforce is a relational database where relevant Salesforce data is connected to provide the insights each business requires. Each Salesforce Product, like the Sales Cloud, comes with Standard Objects which are already linked to one another. This means the relationships between these Objects have already been set up.

Based on the type of data, the Objects are organized by business function. In Sales Cloud, this includes Sales, Service and Marketing functions. In the system, they are referred to as Apps which are selected through the so-called App Launcher. This is similar to an app on your mobile device which has a very specific purpose, like managing your shopping list. The Apps in Salesforce do just the same.

An App in Salesforce contains a default bundle of Salesforce Objects. The Sales App contains Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. The Marketing App contains Campaigns and Leads, and Service App contains Cases. Some Objects, like Accounts and Contacts are cross-functional and will therefore be displayed within each of the apps. These Apps can be tailored based on business needs. This includes re-arranging the default Objects, adding or removing Objects and so on.

The way how the Objects within these Apps are linked is through so-called Related Lists and Lookup hyperlinks. Let’s look at Related Lists first. For example, on an Account, you will see a list of related Contacts or related Opportunities. This means, the Account is the main record (=Master Object), and the Contacts, Opportunities, or other records such as Cases, are attached underneath it (=Detail Objects or Child Objects). It’s like you are looking down.

With Lookup hyperlinks however it’s the other way around. For example, you are on a Contact record, and you want to see the Account details, you will find a hyperlink instead. It’s like you are looking up to the Master Object.

Organize Data Through Collaboration

There are vast amounts of data coming together in a single Salesforce Database. Salesforce Users will most certainly have questions or updates around these.

And this is where Chatter comes in. Chatter is Salesforce’s built-in collaboration platform. Salesforce offers it for Users to share information and ask questions in context to records they are working on. Users may need to involve subject matter experts from their teams or create chat groups to discuss specific topics. Or they may want to know what other people are saying and follow them to get notified. It’s similar to social media platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn. With Chatter, Salesforce Users can create an online and searchable content source.

Now you have learned some of the essential features and functionalities of the Salesforce Platform, in particular Sales Cloud. There is so much more to learn about Salesforce, such as its architecture and infrastructure, customization, change management and so on and on.

Watch this space!

Please let me know in the comments what else you are looking forward to learning about Salesforce. These articles are created for YOU! So go ahead and share your thoughts. 👏🏻

WHAT ELSE…

Our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

We provide you with different types of study materials, so you can choose what works best for you. This includes well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Build Your Own Salesforce Custom Report Types

Salesforce Reports analyze data that is stored on Salesforce Records that belong to Salesforce Objects that are related to one another, or not. That’s a mouthful. And so are Salesforce Reports. Depending on how the data has been set up and structured in your Salesforce org, you’ll need to craft your reports in a corresponding fashion. Salesforce doesn’t leave you alone. They give you ready-to-use Standard Report Types. And if you can’t find what you need you simply build your own, meaning Custom Report Types. Let’s discuss the differences and when to use what type.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

What are Salesforce Standard Report Types?

Standard Report Types are provided by Salesforce out-of-the-box. They come with Salesforce’s Standard Objects such as Accounts, Opportunities, Cases, Leads and so on. You will find the corresponding categories from which you can choose the available Report Types from.

Plus, when you create a Custom Object and tick the “Allow Reports” checkbox, Salesforce will also create a Report Type for you automatically. You’ll find it under “Other Reports”.

Which Standard Report Type Should You Use?

Let’s use the “Opportunities” Category as an example. This is where you find Reports related to the Opportunities Object and their associated Objects such as Products or Contact Roles etc.

The Standard Report Type “Opportunities” will include fields from the Details tab of these records.

A Report Type like the “Opportunities with Products” will include fields from the Details tab as well as fields from the related Object, in this case the Product details.

TIP: Report Types that include details from related records like Products, will only give you a subset of the records (=AND condition). In our example only Opportunities that do have Products attached. You will not be able to include Opportunities without Products.

That’s where Custom Report Types come in.

What are Salesforce Custom Report Types?

Whenever you can’t find a suitable Standard Report Type or need something more complex, that’s when you need to build your own Custom Report Type.

For example: Opportunities with our without Products (=OR condition)

How To Build Custom Report Types

Custom Report Types (CRTs) are created from the Setup menu. You need to select the Primary Object, choose a meaningful Report Type Name and Description. And, you can choose a Category, though you can’t create new categories.

These steps are pretty straight forward. BUT, what the heck is a Primary Object? The question should rather be: What is the main focus of the Report? The Primary Object will determine your Filter Options in the Report.

For example: CRT on Accounts with or without Opportunities. The main focus is on Accounts for which you want to see related Opportunities details. Users will be able to filter by Account to identify those that do or do not have Opportunities.

CRTs typically contain information from multiple related Salesforce Objects, such as “Accounts with Opportunities with Products with Schedules”. Or: “Accounts with or without Opportunities with or without Products with or without Schedules”. The latter would be the most comprehensive.

This means, you can add up to four related Objects, the Primary Object being your first one. You can choose between AND or OR conditions.

AND example: Accounts with Opportunities

OR example: Accounts with our without Opportunities

Awesome Custom Report Types Features

CRTs have another huge advantage over Standard Report Types: They allow you to tailor what will be available in the Report Builder.

You can organize the fields from each Object and group them into logical sections. You can even rename field labels, especially when you have duplicate field names like the “Created By” field. AND: You can add fields from related parent records, meaning Lookup fields. For example: On Account records, you’d have Lookup fields to the Account Owner (= User Object).

You can also specify default columns which will auto-populate when Users create a new Report of this Report Type.

Benefits of Salesforce Custom Report Types

CRTs have many benefits. You can even use them to improve Standard Report Types, though you’ll have to re-create them first as a CRT.

CRTs help you to:

  • Remove clutter from Reports that Users don’t need to see or should not be using
  • Make building Reports easier for Users
  • Standardize the Report building process across teams and departments

Did You Know?

You can hide Standard or Custom Report Types which are redundant. Instead of deleting a Report Type (CRTs only) which would delete all associated Reports, you can simply hide the Report Type.

NOTE: This is currently only possible through the Salesforce Classic UI. However, Salesforce is planning to make this available to Lightning in Spring’23. (Refer to Release Notes!)

If you want to learn more about creating Standard and Custom Report creation, it’s included in our all of our Salesforce Certification Courses. Understanding the data setup and structure is a critical component. That’s why we recommend learning about Reports in context of the bigger picture. This will make you the better Salesforce Admin or Business Analyst.

Plus, all study materials, such as Video Tutorials and Study Workbooks contain awesome checklists, flow charts, diagrams and best practices. You can even download and pin them to your office wall. 🤓

Let me know in the comments what types of Custom Report Types you have created or which ones you would like to try out.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up to our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

Why You Should Set up a Regular Salesforce Data Backup

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. Any data loss or data corruption in a live Salesforce Org can have a devastating impact if you do not set up a comprehensive data backup and restore mechanism. In this article, we’ll discuss your options of manual and automated solutions.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Let me start by asking you this: Do you take photos of your family, friends, hobbies, travel or else? Would you be sad if you lost any of them? For my part, I’d be devastated. Therefore, I regularly create backups of any of my photos, whether I’m taking them with my phone or camera.

What does this have to do with Salesforce? A lot! Because the data stored in a live Salesforce Production Org is critical for customer relationship management, business success, legal compliance and so much more.

This means, if any sensitive or business-critical data is lost and not recoverable, it can have a devastating impact. This is particularly relevant when large amounts of data are impacted.

Data can get lost in many different ways. The most common reasons are:

  • Salesforce Users overwrite data
  • Salesforce Users delete records
  • Salesforce Administrator changes field types
  • Salesforce Administrator runs data imports

Any of the above can happen by accident or can be deliberate. As the Salesforce Administrator, you have many tools at hand to protect data access, data edits as well as data deletion. However, data loss or data corruption can still happen. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can manage data backups to recover and restore data when required.

Salesforce Data Backup Solutions

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. If you want Salesforce’s help with this process, you will need to install something first, and that’s Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service. It requires quite a few setup steps before it will backup your data and provides a recovery service. Plus, it comes at an additional fee.

Alternatively, you can find backup solutions on AppExchange with a range of highly respected Salesforce Partner Apps that work a charm. Yes, they do come at a cost too. Depending on your Salesforce org’s data capacity, restore process and of course budget, it’s worth checking out these apps. Just search for “backup”:

Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

Meanwhile, what can YOU do already?

While the automated solutions are great, you can already start with the more manual backup solutions Salesforce does provide you with out of the box, included at no additional cost. You can always extend with apps at a later point in time.

These out-of-the-box backup solutions include Report Exports, the Data Export service, and the Data Loader App/Dataloader.io. Let’s go through each to see how and when to use them.

Export Salesforce Data with Reports

Salesforce data is stored on records that belong to various Standard and Custom Objects, such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, and so on. One of the easiest ways is to create reports for each of these Salesforce Objects and export them into a save place on your company’s server.

PROs: Simple way to create ad-hoc reports relevant for data clean-up processes, before data imports, whenever there’s a limited amount of records involved. Exports to .csv and .xlsx. Can be scheduled for export.

CONs: This is a manual process. You won’t be able to export the entire database. Cannot be used to restore, unless you do a manual re-import under specific considerations.

Export with Data Loader App / Dataloader.io

The Data Loader works similarly to reports in the way that you need to select specific types of records you want to export.

PROs: Automatically stores the export file in a pre-defined location. The export process can be automated using the command line. Exports to .csv, .xlsx and other.

CONs: Requires installation of Data Loader App locally as well as Java Runtime Environment (alternatively use Dataloader.io web service). You need to be familiar with all the above-mentioned tools and processes.

Salesforce Data Export Service

This one is managed right from within your Salesforce Setup menu, no need to install anything. You can choose between weekly or monthly exports (depends on Salesforce Edition). It’s the most comprehensive of the export tools:

PROs: Automatically exports either selected or all data. Can include images, documents, files etc. (Beware file size!)

CONs: Data is only prepared for export. Once the export data is ready, the system will send an email to the Administrator with a link to a .zip file. The zip file is stored within the Salesforce Setup from where it needs to be manually downloaded. And, the .zip file delete’s itself after 48 hours.

The Data Export is really easy to set up and if you can ensure that an Administrator will be around to take care of the .zip file within the 48-hour time frame, then this is certainly a great tool to use.

Final Thoughts

The out-of-the-box backup solutions do not provide out-of-the-box recovery methods. The recovery process is a rather manual process, including tools like the Recycle Bin and Data (Re)Imports. Depending on the volume of data/records involved, remember to take a look at Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service or solutions on the AppExchange.

All of the above is about Salesforce Data, not Metadata. Metadata are the containers that define the type and location of the data, not the data itself. This includes Field Types, Page Layouts, Reports, Validation Rules, and so on. Therefore, if you need a backup, or better a copy, of the Metadata, that’s what Sandboxes are for.

Salesforce Data Backup is part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. Application Management including Sandboxes is covered in our Salesforce Platform App Builder and Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Courses.

Let me know in the comments how you manage data backups and which tool you prefer to use.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Before You Run Your Next Salesforce Data Import

Running Salesforce Data Imports to insert or update larger amounts of Salesforce records can be a real time-saver. OR NOT! It can also mess up your data seriously if the import is not prepared well. Which in turn, will cost you a lot of time instead, to fix it all over again. 🤯 In this article, I want to discuss how you can ensure your data imports run smoothly.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

I’ve been going through the painful way of understanding how NOT to use the data import file. We had created a huge mess at the time and it took weeks to fix the whole thing. 🤯 Only because of one field we got wrong. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen to you.

Therefore, in this article, I want to discuss how you can ensure your data imports run smoothly. 🤓 We’ll look at the types of data import tools available to you and what steps you need to follow in order to prepare your import file in the right way.

Which Salesforce Data Import Tool Should You Use

First of all, it’s important to understand which tool you should choose for what type of data import,  data update, or even data deletion. While we will focus on data import in this article, I’ll give you a breakdown of the main data management tools every Salesforce Administrator should be familiar with.

These tools are Data Import Wizard and Data Loader:

Data Import Wizard

The Data Import Wizard comes right out of the box and is accessed through the Salesforce Setup interface. As the name reveals, the Data Import Wizard can only do imports/updates. It’s limited to the Standard Objects Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Solutions, and Campaign Members, but unlimited Custom Objects. You can choose to verify duplicates and choose whether or not you want to trigger workflow rules or processes.

Data Loader App / Dataloader.io

Then we have the Data Loader. It comes in two versions:

Version 1: The Data Loader App. This one is also available through the Setup, however needs to be downloaded and installed on your computer before you can use it. It looks a bit like a dinosaur but is still loved by so many Salesforce Admins because it’s the most versatile of the data management tools.

Version 2: The Dataloader.io website is the modern cloud-based alternative. It can be launched from the Setup menu too. It is a paid service, however can be used for free to manage up to 10,000 records of up to 10MB per file.

Both Data Loader versions support imports, updates, exports, and mass deletes for pretty much all of your Standard and Custom Objects. Using the command line you can even automate imports and exports, for example for regular data migrations from/with other systems. Both Data Loader versions also support saving field mappings which are super handy for those regular data imports. They do not support duplicate checks though and can’t turn off workflow rules/processes.

Here’s an overview of their main differences and when to use which data management tool and what else you need to consider:

As mentioned earlier, in this article we will further focus on data imports because they require the most careful preparation.

Differences Between Salesforce Data Import and Data Update

When you do an import, you need to differentiate between data import and data update. You can choose between the two or even combine the two actions in one upload.

Each Salesforce record is being associated with a unique record ID. This means, if you are doing a data import to create entirely new records, Salesforce will automatically generate a unique record ID for each new record.

However, if you are doing a data import to update existing records, you need to tell Salesforce which records need to be updated. Hence, you must reference the existing record IDs.

And this is the tricky part. If you don’t include the record ID in your data upload, Salesforce will create new records instead and you’ll end up with duplicates.

Now, where do you find the record IDs of the records you want to update? You’ve got three options:

  1. In the URL of the record.
  2. By including the ID field into the corresponding report.
  3. By including the ID field in the data export when using the Data Loader.

Each of these options will give you a different number of digits, either 15 or 18. How does this matter? This is relevant for things like V-lookups in an Excel spreadsheet. Excel does not care about upper or lower cases, hence some of the record IDs will appear as duplicates. Therefore, in case you need to use the data for V-lookup purposes, it’s safer to use the 18 digits.

By the way: The number of digits does not matter for the data upload process. It will work with either number.

What Does a Salesforce Data Import File Look Like

The data import file needs to match the structure of the Salesforce Object which contains the type of records you want to upload. The structure of any Salesforce Object is the structure of a table, like an Excel or CSV. Depending on the type of Object, you need to include the relevant rows and columns.

Data uploads must be done from a CSV file. In case you’ve got an Excel in front of you, make sure to convert it to CSV first.

Here’s an example of an import file related to the Account Object:

Apart from the record IDs we discussed earlier, there are a few other items you should be verifying before you run the import.

Don’t Miss These Steps When Preparing Your Salesforce Data Import File

Therefore, here’s a checklist for you of the most important items you need to verify before you start the import.

  • Verify whether there are any mandatory fields that may be missing, or other data validation rules you may have in place. Also, do all fields you want to import exist in Salesforce or do you need to create custom fields.
  • Clean up potential duplicates. Yes, the Data Import Wizard has duplicate options available however they may not necessarily work in 100% of the records. Therefore it’s always better to check upfront if feasible.
  • Verify picklist values. If a value in your CSV file does not match existing picklist values, it will still import but not actually add the value to the picklist. Picklist values can be enforced. This means, records containing mismatching values will not be imported.
  • To keep your Salesforce data clean and tidy, it’s good practice to run a spell check, verify naming conventions and data formats like country codes and so on.
  • If you are importing currency fields, make sure the currency exists and is included in the file, not just the amount. They are essentially two different fields.
  • And remember the field mapping. It’s best to rename the column headings to match the Salesforce field label. You can still rename during the import but that may take longer. Remember that the Data Import Wizard does not store your mappings. However the Data Loader can, and this may be handy for regular uploads.
  • Determine the Record Owner. If you don’t include it in your import file, YOU will become the owner.
  • One last item that can get really interesting is date and time formats. Make sure the date and time fields are formatted correctly, otherwise they will most likely not get imported correctly. Here is what Salesforce accepts:

Source: help.salesforce.com

Conclusion

The actual data import process is not very hard, however, the type of data you import is what matters and what can truly mess things up.

Data Management is part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You will not only learn how to import and export data in Salesforce but also learn WHY this is relevant. There are a lot of factors to consider in regards to data setup, data security, data clean-up, data backup, data migration, and more. Therefore, we believe it’s essential to understand the bigger picture. 🤓

Let me know in the comments if you found this article helpful. If you had any data import mess-ups let me know too, we can all only learn from our mistakes and by sharing them with others.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning Salesforce simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks, and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder, and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

How Do Salesforce Lightning Record Pages, Dynamic Forms and Page Layouts Go Together?

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

When designing the look and feel of Salesforce Record Pages, System Administrators usually start off by creating and arranging Page Layouts. However, more recently, Salesforce has introduced Lightning Record Pages followed by Dynamic Records.

You may have been wondering how they are different, or not, and how they actually play along? Can they be used together, or separate? What’s the deal here? 🤔

Back To The Future – An Evolution from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience

Let’s take a quick tour back to where things started. At the time I got introduced to Salesforce, which was still in the good old Salesforce Classic times, we used to work with Page Layouts to design and structure the contents of the Salesforce user interface (we’re ignoring any Apex coding for now and focus on declarative development).

With the introduction of the Lightning Experience (LEX) user interface, Salesforce started structuring the user interface with so-called Lightning Record Pages. Lightning Record Pages are pretty much an extension of Page Layouts. This means, Page Layouts are still being used, but have been integrated into Lightning Record Pages and appear as a Detail Tab as well as a Related Tab. Record Pages also contain many other components like a Highlights Panel or Activities and so much more, which can be added and arranged as needed. This makes the design of Salesforce Record Pages so much more flexible, allowing Salesforce Customers to tailor the record components to their specific business needs.

And that’s not all. More recently, Salesforce has released so-called Dynamic Forms. It’s an upgrade of Lightning Record Pages to make them even more dynamic. I guess that’s why they came up with the name.

How Salesforce Page Layouts, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms Get Along

Now, each has its own features and specifications and do depend on one another. Let’s go through step by step and understand when to use which one.

In case you work for a company that still uses Salesforce Classic, forget about Lightning Record Pages or Dynamic Forms, you only need to worry about Page Layouts. However, this company will eventually have to move to LEX, and other companies use LEX already anyways. So, I guess there’s no way around understanding all three. 🤓

Even though Page Layouts are an integral part of Lightning Record Pages, you still need to manage Page Layouts separately. Page Layouts are used to add, remove, arrange Fields, Sections, Related List, Action Buttons and a few other items.

When you move to set up a Lightning Record Page for the same Object, you will need to add components, including those components that represent what you build on your Page Layout.

For example: If you want to display Fields, you need to add the Record Detail component. If you want to make Related Lists available, you need to add one of the Related Lists components. If you want to display the Standard action buttons like Edit, Delete and so on, then you need to use the Highlights Panel component.

This means, as part of building a Lightning Record Page you are breaking down the Page Layout elements into its main pieces and arrange them in any order required. Every Salesforce business works differently, so it’s crucial for user adoption success, to arrange all record components in a logical and intuitive way. And that’s what we love Lightning Record Pages for.

And then it gets even better, with Dynamic Forms. Dynamic Forms allow even more creativity because you can arrange Page Layout Sections (and their associated Fields) in any form and shape. This means, with Dynamic Forms you can even break down the Record Details component into its sections. Plus, you can make fields or entire sections appear or disappear based on the Field or Component Visibility settings. And there’s more, you can even customize the Highlights Panel in order to manage every single action button.

Something like this only used to be possible with Visualforce Pages or Custom Lightning Components. But Salesforce wants to make customization as easy as possible, that’s why they introduce more and more point-and-click tools like Dynamic Forms. No more coding skills required, almost. 👏🏻

Designing Salesforce User Interfaces with Object Manager and Lightning App Builder

And now, let’s break down the steps you’ll need to follow to get things right:

StepsDesign withAssign toBenefits
1. Create Page Layout (or use Default Page Layout)Object ManagerUser ProfilesArrange Fields, Sections, Related Lists, Action Buttons etc.
2. Create Record TypeObject ManagerUser ProfilesTailor business processes and allocate corresponding Page Layouts
3. Create Lightning Record PageLightning App BuilderOrg or
App or
App + Record Type + User Profile
Arrange page components including Record Details (= Fields and Sections from Page Layouts), Related Lists, Highlights Panel etc.
Use visibility settings to manage access to components
4. Upgrade to Dynamic Form
 
NOTE: Currently only available on Record Pages for Custom Objects.
Refer to Release Notes for updates!
Lightning App Builderas aboveFreely arrange Sections from a selected Page Layout.
Use visibility settings to manage access to single Fields or entire Sections.
Reduce number of Page Layouts
 
TIP: If you want to move only one field, add a section first, then move the field in there.

As you may have noticed, Page Layouts are the basis to building Record Types, Lightning Record Pages and Dynamic Forms. This may change in the future to support even more dynamic user interface designs with declarative tools, so keep your eyes open on future release updates.

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Dynamic Forms yet and how you like them.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams. Available for Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder and more.

All materials are in line with the official Salesforce Certification Exam Outline including regular release updates.

Profiles and Permission Sets – The Big Misunderstanding

Profiles and Permission Sets are THE tools to manage Salesforce User permissions, permissions to manipulate data that lives in Salesforce records. BUT… what about access to these records? Is that not covered by Profiles and Permission Sets too? So you thought, but not quite. It’s all about understanding how they play along with the entire Data Security Model. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into edible pieces.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Profiles and Permission Sets are THE tools to manage Salesforce User permissions, permissions to manipulate data that lives in Salesforce records. BUT… what about access to these records? Is that not covered by Profiles and Permission Sets already? So you thought, but not quite. It’s all about understanding how they play along with the entire Salesforce Data Security Model. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into edible pieces.

What you really need to understand is that Profiles and Permission Sets have to be seen from a record owner’s perspective. It’s like going into a public parking garage. 🚗🚙 One of the cars is yours or is the car you have the key to. However, all the other cars are there too but you can’t drive them. Not without a key. 🔑

It’s the same with accessing Salesforce records. A Salesforce Object is like a parking garage and contains a lot of records. However, not all records are necessarily accessible to you. A Salesforce User Profile only determines which Salesforce Object a User can go into. It does not determine which of the records within the specific Object the User can actually ‘drive’. Therefore, we need to discuss how Salesforce Users get access to the individual records.

SALESFORCE DATA RECORD ACCESS MODEL

That’s where the Salesforce Data Record Access Model comes into play. That’s the one that determines whose records you are allowed to access, like giving a User one or more keys to drive selected cars. It’s the highest priority of every Salesforce Organization to protect the data of their customers, partners, supplies and others. Not every Salesforce User should have access to every Salesforce record, only those they need to work with on a daily basis, in order to fulfill the job they were hired for.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for many organizations. Especially smaller organizations oftentimes leave record access open to everyone because they don’t have the capacity to get to know the Salesforce Setup items. And what makes things worse, most Salesforce Users are given a System Administrator Profile. Sounds familiar? I hope not, but I’m sure it does. 😉

We won’t discuss the entire Salesforce Record Access Model in this article. We’ll focus on the two most important elements from a Salesforce User perspective. And this is about what they can DO in Salesforce and what they can SEE after they’ve logged in.

WHAT SALESFORCE USERS CAN DO

It all starts with Profiles and Permission Sets for sure. They are used to determine what Users can do in Salesforce, including what they can do with the records they have access to. This is referred to as ‘Object Permissions’. The four essential permissions you need to be familiar with are Create, Read, Edit and Delete. In short, the ‘CRED’ permissions. There are two more, but let’s stick with CRED for now.

Salesforce provides a number of Standard Profiles to get you started with, so you don’t have to define and select them all from scratch. These Standard Profiles contain a carefully selected combination of Object and other permissions Salesforce has determined relevant for most common job functions. But remember to clone them first and save them as Custom Profiles. Only assign Custom Profiles to your Salesforce Users because Standard Profiles cannot be changed. You have been warned. 😉

And please also consider that Profiles should only contain the very minimum of permissions. Everything else is managed through Permission Sets and Permission Set Groups.

WHOSE SALESFORCE RECORDS USERS CAN SEE

As mentioned earlier, Profiles and Permission Sets only determine which parking garage (Salesforce Object) Users can get into, but not which individual cars (Salesforce records) they will have the keys to.

When we apply this concept to the CRED permission, this looks like this:

DO = Create – Set up a new record within this Object

SEE = Read – Access to the Object

DO = Edit – Change data on records within these Objects

DO = Delete – Get it out of Salesforce

By default, when a Salesforce User has been granted access to a Salesforce Object, they automatically have full access to records they created and own. This does not apply to records a Salesforce User does NOT own.

However, also by default, Salesforce does not restrict access to many Salesforce records, to begin with. That’s why it often appears as if Users automatically have access to all records when they have Read access through their Profile. While this makes it easier to get started with Salesforce it makes it harder later in life when you do need to take away access.

And that brings us to the Sharing Settings. The baseline settings which determine whether Users have access to all or only their own records is managed through the Organization-Wide Defaults (OWD). Each Object has a specific access level selected.

The access levels you can choose from vary by Object. Here is what the most common access levels mean:

And this is just the starting point. As soon as you choose something like Private or Read-Only you will have managers and executives come yelling and screaming why they can’t see their teams’ data anymore. It’s because you’ve taken it away. 😱 But the good news is, that you have other tools to give access back by business unit or other specifications. 😅 And this makes up your Data Record Access Model:

Now you know why Profiles and Permission Sets alone do not dictate access to Salesforce records. You must use them in combination with the Sharing Settings:

DO = Create – Set up a new record within this Object

SEE = Read – Access to the Object -> Access to individual records managed through Sharing Settings

DO = Edit – Change data on records within these Objects

DO = Delete – Get it out of Salesforce

This is a lot to take in. The entire Data Security Model including record access is pretty complex and needs time and practice. I hope this article has clarified some of the key elements you need to consider when it comes to data security.

If you’d like to dive deeper, we have it all covered in detail in our comprehensive Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You can get a sneak peek at our Free Salesforce Introduction Course. Have a look, no strings attached. 🙂

Let me know in the comments if this is helpful.

WHAT ELSE…

We make learning simple with our range of well-structured Salesforce Video Tutorials, downloadable Study Workbooks and realistic Practice Exams.

And if you are brand new to the world of Salesforce, make sure to sign up for our FREE 21-Day Salesforce Beginners Challenge.

New Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide – June 2021

Official Salesforce News: After June 23, 2021 Trailhead has updated the content of the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide. We provide you with a mapping table of NEW vs. OLD Topics and their Weightings.

Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide has been Updated

After June 23, 2021 Trailhead has updated the content of the Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide. We provide you with a mapping table of NEW vs. OLD Topics and their Weightings.

First up: NO NEED TO WORRY!

If you have booked your cert exam or you are planning to register, there is no reason to freak out! Because the exam objectives as such are not changing much. The knowledge topics and concepts you need to be proficient in are still the same.

What is changing is mostly the grouping and order of the exam outline. Meaning, Trailhead is taking the current exam objectives and groups them into more logical buckets.

There are just very few somewhat newer topics. HOWEVER, as with every release cycle, you need to be familiar with the relevant Release Notes anyways. Some of these topics are now considered baseline knowledge, that’s why they will be mentioned more officially in the exam outline. That’s about it!

What is changing? Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide Topics & Weighting

The previously 12 Exam Topics have been re-grouped into 7 Exam Topics.

The weighting has increased significantly on the following topics, which means you will get more Certification Exam Questions on these:

Object Manager & Lightning App Builder (20%) -> increased by 6%

Workflow/Process Automation (16%) -> will be twice as much, increased by 8%

These New Certified Administrator Exam Objectives have been added:

Most exam objectives from the original 12 exam topics are the same. There will be a few new topics to be added which you should already be familiar with from the Release Notes:

Einstein Lead Scoring

Einstein Opportunity Scoring

Forecast Impact

These Certified Administrator Exam Objectives have been removed:

Products & Price Books

Salesforce Content

Salesforce Knowledge

Salesforce Experience Cloud Site

Salesforce Lightning for Outlook

Mapping Table of New vs. Old Salesforce Administrator Certification Exam Guide

Our Salesforce Administrator Certification Video Course, Study Workbook & Practice Exams have been be updated accordingly.

Here’s an overview of how our course curriculum (aka exam outline) will match with the New Salesforce Certified Administrator Exam Guide:

NEW SALESFORCE CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDEOLD SALESFORCE CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATOR EXAM GUIDE
Configuration & Setup (20% )Organizational Setup (3%)
User Setup (7%)
Security & Access (13%)
Object Manager & Lightning App Builder (20%)
Standard & Custom Objects (14%)
Sales & Marketing Applications (12%)
Sales & Marketing Applications (14%)
Service & Support Applications (11%)
Service & Support Applications (13%)
Productivity & Collaboration (7%)
Activity Management & Collaboration (3%)
Desktop & Mobile Administration (3%)
AppExchange (2%)
Data & Analytics Management (14%)
Data Management (10%)
Analytics, Reports & Dashboards (10%)
Workflow / Process Automation (16%)Workflow / Process Automation (8%)

Our Salesforce Administrator Certification Video Course, Study Workbook & Practice Exams have been be updated accordingly.

WeLearnSalesforce Administrator Certification Course / Study Workbooks / Practice Exams
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